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NYC to Pay Out $17.5 Million for Making Muslim Women Remove Their Hijabs for Mugshots

New York City has reportedly agreed to pay out $17.5 million after a class action lawsuit, spearheaded by two Muslim women, claimed that their religious rights were violated after police forced them to remove their hijabs to take a mugshot photo after they were arrested.

Fox News Digital reported that the initial settlement, which still needs to be finalized by a district court judge, was filed on Friday in Manhattan federal court. The report mentioned that more than 3,600 people are eligible for payouts under the deal.

The two women who spearheaded the effort, Jamilla Clark and Arwa Aziz, filed the suit in 2018 after they were arrested for violating orders of protection. However, the two women have claimed that the reason for their arrest was bogus, per the report. The two women were arrested twice, in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Clark and Aziz claimed that they felt shame and experienced trauma after being forced to remove their hijabs for a mugshot. Hijabs are generally worn by Muslim women in observance of the Islamic religion. The women compared removing their head coverings to being strip-searched.

Clark stated: “When they forced me to take off my hijab, I felt as if I were naked. I’m not sure if words can capture how exposed and violated I felt.”

“I’m so proud today to have played a part in getting justice for thousands of New Yorkers.”

CBS reported that Afaf Nasher — CAIR-NY Executive Director — said the following in a statement: “We send our appreciation to the Muslim women who bravely persisted with this litigation, prompting policy change that benefit many with similar religious garb requirement.”

The NYPD reportedly changed its policy in 2020, which allowed those arrested to retain their religious head covering with limited exceptions, per court documents.

The total payout is estimated to be around $13.1 million after legal fees and costs are paid, per Fox News Digital. Each recipient is expected to receive between $7,824 and $13,125.

Albert Fox Cahn, who is a lawyer for Clark and Aziz, said that the settlement was a milestone achievement for the privacy and religious rights of those in New York.

“The NYPD should never have stripped these religious New Yorkers of their head coverings and dignity,” Cahn said.

He went on to say that the success of the lawsuit “sends a powerful message that the NYPD can’t violate New Yorkers’ First Amendment rights without paying a price.”

READ 36 COMMENTS
  • A. Michaels says:

    YIKES!! Put ’em back on! I encourage all ‘uglies’ to wear a hijab, or a bag, muslin or not.

  • Scurvydog says:

    NYC is reaping what they’ve sewn. They’re just like CA, and many other liberal cesspools filled with corrupt liberal crap. Stinking Islam is a cancer, and allowing their “traditions” to overide the law of the land is dangerous, not to mention expensive for the tax payers! Every hood rat that wears a ball cap will now be able to sue them when they force them to remove their hats for a mug shot!

  • RS says:

    These Muslims must assimilate if they do not send them back to their old county. This is America one of the previous nationality that came here before assimilated Muslims are no different abid or leave it’s our law we are a Republic we are not a 3rd world country.

  • cj says:

    What is next |? sue for not wearing underwear ?? Well I was behind 3 women who I guess did not because they smelled like they shit their pants and I bet they were not wearing any .filthy clothes are not God telling you to wear them if it was we would all be making up shit of our own in the name of God or ?

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